Red Bull Music Academy Culture Clash in Miami: Four DJ Crews Do Battle
Photo by Josh Sisk Moombahton Massive's Dave Nada digs bass-scene "sibling rivalry."
"A DJ nowadays brings their laptop and shows up at the club and they're ready to go," says Miami bass veteran Juan Basshead. "But back in the day, DJs had to have everything -- all the gear, all the decks, all the way down to the sound."
The rise of digital technology and EDM has seen a shift in DJ culture, from a more do-it-yourself, grassroots sensibility to full-blown mainstream stage theatrics, where pressing play and pumping up a crowd in front of a swirling LED vortex is enough to earn the world's biggest DJ-producers hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single night.
As a longtime supporter of the underground EDM scene, Red Bull wants to bring back some of that DIY flavor of yore for today's bass-hungry masses.
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Courtesy of Red Bull
Inspired by the traditional Jamaican sound clash, where opposing crews would set up their own systems, guerilla style, in fields and battle it out, the Red Bull Music Academy Culture Clash celebrates the ongoing influence of this tradition on dance music by adapting it to fit a modern-day, multi-genre club.
Hosted by local pop-culture icon and puppet badass, Pepe Billete, Red Bull's Culture Clash is set to make its Miami debut this week at Grand Central, where four established music collectives -- including the 305's own Black Chiney and Eccentrix Sound, Slow Roast, Basshead -- will face off over four rounds, with a winner named by the crowd and its audible reaction, as measured by a decibel meter.
Here's a quick breakdown of what to expect from each of the four crews battling it out at the clash.
Black Chiney's Willy Chin.
Black Chiney and Eccentrix Sound. What's a Black Chiney? It's a Jamaican sound system based in Miami, made up of six black Chinese Jamaicans. You got Supa Dups (who just co-produced a track for Juicy J), Bobby Chin, Willy Chin, Walshy Killa (AKA Walshy Fire of Major Lazer), Special K, and Brandon Lee. For the Clash, this crew has teamed up with fellow Miami reggae/dancehall buffs Eccentrix Sound.
While these two collectives are known for their Caribbean flavors, they plan to mix in hip-hop and house to make for a totally fresh sound. "We're gonna have heavy, heavy sound," says Black Chiney's Willy Chin. "A lot of bass, a lot of speakers, a lot of vibes. We've been in a couple of these situations already, where we're challenging sound systems, and we've been victorious at the majority of them."